Here are some of the books I think kids will enjoy if they just graduated from Grade 3 or 4. I hope they serve as a jumping off point to find even more awesome reading material at the library this summer. If your child wants to submit a little book review for any of the books they really love, I would be happy to post them on the blog. Email me :)
Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher - Coville, Bruce - If Howard Morton and Freddie the Frog Killer were trying to hold you down so that Mary Lou Hutton could kiss you, you might run as fast as Jeremy Thatcher did the day he stumbled into Mr. Elives' Magic Shop. And if you stumbled into that strange shop, you, too, might be asked to make a choice. What would you buy? The Chinese rings? The Skull of Truth? Or the dragon's egg?
And if you did buy the dragon's egg, what would you do when you found out you were supposed to hatch it?
39 Clues Series - multiple Authors - Minutes before she died Grace Cahill changed her will, leaving her decendants an impossible decision: You have a choice - one million dollars or a clue.
Grace is the last matriarch of the Cahills, the world's most powerful family. Everyone from Napoleon to Houdini is related to the Cahills, yet the source of the family power is lost. 39 clues hidden around the world will reveal the family's secret, but no one has been able to assemble them. Now the clues race is on, and young Amy and Dan must decide what's important: hunting clues or uncovering what REALLY happened to their parents
My life as a book - Tashjian, Janet - Summer’s finally here, and Derek Fallon is looking forward to pelting the UPS truck with water balloons, climbing onto the garage roof, and conducting silly investigations. But when his parents decide to send him to Learning Camp, Derek’s dreams of fun come to an end. Ever since he’s been labeled a “reluctant reader,” his mom has pushed him to read “real” books—something other than his beloved Calvin & Hobbes.
As Derek forges unexpected friendships and uncovers a family secret involving himself (in diapers! no less), he realizes that adventures and surprises are around the corner, complete with curve balls.
You're a Bad man, Mr. Gum! - Stanton, Andy - Mr Gum is a truly nasty old man. He's a complete horror who hates children, animals, fun, and corn on the cob. This book's all about him. And an angry fairy who lives in his bathtub. And Jake the dog, and a little girl named Polly, and an evil, stinky butcher all covered in guts. And there are heroes and sweets and adventures and everything.
Darkwing - Oppel, Kenneth - As the sun sets on the time of the dinosaurs, a new world is left in its wake. . . .
He alone can fly and see in the dark, in a colony where being different means being shunned--or worse. As the leader's son, he is protected, but does his future lie among his kin?
He has the true instincts of a predator, and he is determined that his kind will not only survive but will dominate the world of beasts
Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading - Greenwald, Tommy - Charlie Joe Jackson may be the most reluctant reader ever born. And so far, he's managed to get through life without ever reading an entire book from cover to cover. But now that he's in middle school, avoiding reading isn't as easy as it used to be. And when his friend Timmy McGibney decides that he's tired of covering for him, Charlie Joe finds himself resorting to desperate measures to keep his perfect record intact.
The One and Only Ivan - Applegate, Kathrine - Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all.
Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line.
Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.
The Penderwicks - Birdsall, Jean - This summer the Penderwick sisters have a wonderful surprise: a holiday on the grounds of a beautiful estate called Arundel. Soon they are busy discovering the summertime magic of Arundel’s sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts. But the best discovery of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundel’s owner, who quickly proves to be the perfect companion for their adventures.
The icy-hearted Mrs. Tifton is not as pleased with the Penderwicks as Jeffrey is, though, and warns the new friends to stay out of trouble. Which, of course, they will—won’t they? One thing’s for sure: it will be a summer the Penderwicks will never forget.
Deliciously nostalgic and quaintly witty, this is a story as breezy and carefree as a summer day.
How to Steal a Dog - O'Connor, Barbara - Half of me was thinking, Georgina, don’t do this. Stealing a dog is just plain wrong. The other half of me was thinking, Georgina, you’re in a bad fix and you got to do whatever it takes to get yourself out of it.
Georgina Hayes is desperate. Ever since her father left and they were evicted from their apartment, her family has been living in their car. With her mama juggling two jobs and trying to make enough money to find a place to live, Georgina is stuck looking after her younger brother, Toby. And she has her heart set on improving their situation. When Georgina spots a missing-dog poster with a reward of five hundred dollars, the solution to all her problems suddenly seems within reach. All she has to do is “borrow” the right dog and its owners are sure to offer a reward. What happens next is the last thing she expected.
With unmistakable sympathy, Barbara O’Connor tells the story of a young girl struggling to see what’s right when everything else seems wrong.
The Red Blazer Girls - Beil, Michael - It all began with The Scream. And ended with . . . well, if we told you that, it wouldn’t be a mystery! But in between The Scream and The Very Surprising Ending, three friends find themselves on a scavenger hunt set up for a girl they never met, in search of a legendary ring reputed to grant wishes. Are these sleuths in school uniforms modern-day equivalents of Nancy, Harriet, or Scooby? Not really, they’re just three nice girls who decide to help out a weird lady, and end up hiding under tables, tackling word puzzles and geometry equations, and searching rather moldy storage rooms for “the stuff that dreams are made of” (that’s from an old detective movie). Oh, and there’s A Boy, who complicates things. As boys often do.
Intrigued? The Red Blazer Girls offers a fun, twisty adventure for those who love mystery, math (c’mon, admit it!), and a modest measure of mayhem.
The Lemonade War - Davies, Jacqueline - For a full hour, he poured lemonade. The world is a thirsty place, he thought as he nearly emptied his fourth pitcher of the day. And I am the Lemonade King.
Fourth-grader Evan Treski is people-smart. He’s good at talking with people, even grownups. His younger sister, Jessie, on the other hand, is math-smart, but not especially good with people. So when the siblings’ lemonade stand war begins, there really is no telling who will win—or even if their fight will ever end. Brimming with savvy marketing tips for making money at any business, definitions of business terms, charts, diagrams, and even math problems, this fresh, funny, emotionally charged novel subtly explores how arguments can escalate beyond anyone’s intent.
The Land of Stories - Colfer. Chris - Alex and Conner Bailey's world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales.
"The Land of Stories" tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.
But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.
Graphic Novels (the public library has a GREAT selection!)
Asterix and Obelix - Goscinny, Rene
Kristy's Great Idea - Martin, Ann M.
Magic Pickle - Morse, Scott
Shattered Peace (Warriors Series) - Hunter, Erin
Lunch Lady - Kroscka, Jarrett
Big Nate - Pierce, Lincoln
Amulet - Kibuishi , Kazu
Zita the Spacegirl
Sidekicks - Santat, Dan
Copper - Kibiushi, Kazu
Harriet the Spy - Fitzhugh, Louise
Matilda - Dahl, Roald
Alice in Wonderland - Carroll, Lewis
Ballet Shoes/Theatre Shoes/Skating Shoes - Streatfield, Noel
Pippi Longstocking - Lindgren, Astrid